Four Hours of Extra Time for Christmas Eve: Generous or Average?

Which president has been the most generous with time off at Christmas? How do the 4 hours of extra time off this year compare with what has been done in the past when Christmas Eve falls on a Thursday?

Many or most federal employees will have an extra four hours off on Christmas Eve this year. Some are delighted at having the extra time off, others think it is insufficient, and some readers are unhappy they will have to work while other federal employees have the time off.

Since Christmas Eve falls on a Thursday this year, how do the four extra hours of time off compare to what past presidents have done with regard to giving federal employees time off from work on this day?

As it turns out, the four hours of extra time off from work for federal employees when Christmas Eve falls on a Thursday are consistent with what President Obama has done in the past as well as what other presidents have done since 1948.

Here is a listing of executive orders issued by presidents to give federal employees extra time off when Christmas Eve falls on a Thursday:

  • Harry S. Truman Executive Order 10019 – 12/02/1948 4 hours on 12/24/1948 (Thursday)
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Order 10508 – 12/14/1953 4 hours on 12/24/1953 (Thursday)
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Order 10856 – 12/03/1959 4 hours on 12/24/1959 (Thursday)
  • Richard Nixon Executive Order 11573 – 12/21/1970 4 hours on 12/24/1970 (Thursday)
  • Ronald R. Reagan Executive Order 12619 – 12/22/1987 4 hours on 12/24/1987 (Thursday)
  • William J. Clinton Executive Order 13109 – 12/17/1998 4 hours on 12/24/1998 (Thursday)
  • Barack Obama Executive Order 15323 – 12/11/2009 4 hours on 12/24/2009 (Thursday)

For those who may be wondering which president has been the most generous to federal employees with time off at Christmas, President George W. Bush was the most generous. He gave federal employees a total of 36 hours of additional time. President Lyndon Johnson did not give any time off during his time in office.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47